Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/vts5g0

Centering Students in Michigan’s Financial Aid Programs: Primer and Equity Analysis

4 November 2021


Executive Summary To ensure that Michigan’s workforce has the skills needed for the modern economy, the state’s leaders must build a financial aid system that helps families cover college costs. However, disjointed program designs, maintenance restrictions, and administrative barriers diminish the effectiveness of Michigan’s eight state financial aid programs in reaching this vital goal. In this report, we examine how the fine print of these programs place unnecessary hurdles between students and the aid they need, in ways that are likely to compound inequities in college access by race and income. This report serves as a primer on the state’s financial aid programs and a policy blueprint for streamlined and equitable aid for Michigan’s future.


Catherine Brown
Catherine Brown lives and works in central Michigan and serves as the senior advisor for the state of Michigan at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), helping to advance affordability, equity and accountability in Michigan’s public colleges.

Manon Steel
Manon Steel is a program associate at The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS). As a native Michigander, Manon is deeply committed to making college affordable for all students throughout the Mitten State. She works on state postsecondary policy aimed at expanding access to financial aid and ensuring it’s equitably distributed. Prior to joining TICAS, Manon managed education policy projects as the education policy coordinator of the Roosevelt Institute Student Network. She collaborated in research projects at the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative at Michigan State University, the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania. Manon also supported students through the college application process at Thomas Jefferson University. She received a bachelor of arts in social relations and policy from Michigan State University and a MSEd in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Denise A. Smith
Denise A. Smith is a senior fellow, higher education at The Century Foundation.

Peter Granville
Peter Granville is a senior policy associate at The Century Foundation, studying state policy efforts to improve college access and affordability.


higher education financial aid michigan